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A prospective cohort study exploring the impact of tonsillectomy on feeding difficulties in children
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  • Maia Walsh,
  • Retzler R,
  • Huang J,
  • Daglish A,
  • Daniel Tweedie,
  • Chris Pepper
Maia Walsh
Evelina London Children's Hospital

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Retzler R
Evelina London Children's Hospital
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Huang J
Evelina London Children's Hospital
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Daglish A
Evelina London Children's Hospital
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Daniel Tweedie
Evelina London Children's Hospital
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Chris Pepper
Evelina London Children's Hospital
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Abstract

Objectives Paediatric feeding difficulties are common, affecting up to 25% of otherwise healthy children, symptoms include food refusal, gagging, choking, and excessive mealtime duration. These symptoms are commonly described in pre-operative discussions about tonsillectomy. This prospective study explores the impact of tonsillectomy on paediatric feeding difficulties. Methods This prospective cohort study invited caregivers of all children undergoing tonsillectomy at our institution to complete a PediEAT questionnaire about their children’s feeding behaviours, pre and post-operatively. The study was completed in two phases with 9 questions administered in phase 1 and three additional questions added for phase 2. A free text comments box was also provided. Responses were graded from 0-5, where 0 is ‘never a problem’ and 5 is ‘always a problem’ with eating behaviours. Results 102 participants were recruited between January 2020 – January 2022. The mean age of participants was 4.1 years, 87% had a concurrent adenoidectomy. The mean time to completion of post-operative questionnaire was 23 weeks after surgery. 9 of the 12 questions showed a statistically significant improvement in post-operative scores using a paired student t-test (p=<0.05). The most significant improvements related to “gets tired from eating and is unable to finish” (1.49 pre-op, 0.91 post op, p<0.01) and “eats food that needs to be chewed” (1.4 pre-op, 0.72 post-op, p<0.01). 13% of participants only underwent tonsillectomy and this group also showed a statistically significant improvement in fatigue during eating (p<0.05). Conclusion Symptoms of fatigue during eating and avoidance of food requiring mastication are most likely to improve following tonsillectomy in children.
22 Jul 2023Submitted to Clinical Otolaryngology
22 Jul 2023Submission Checks Completed
22 Jul 2023Assigned to Editor
05 Aug 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
24 Aug 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
09 Sep 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
09 Oct 20231st Revision Received
09 Oct 2023Submission Checks Completed
09 Oct 2023Assigned to Editor
20 Oct 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned